Caution: Set Prayer Zone

That people from around the world are being drawn to places that practice common prayer is encouraging, but this movement needs to be looked at with caution ["Learning the Ancient Rhythms of Prayer," Jan. 8].

Common prayer without the Holy Spirit could lead to praying by rote. If we do this, the life that comes with praying in the Spirit will be missing.

God gave his people fresh manna every morning when they were in the desert. His mercies are new every morning. His Word is alive, sharper than any double-edged sword.

This freshness is what should come forth in daily prayer.

Life and energy are given to our days, and when we pray in the Spirit we are giving our Lord's words back to him.
Mary V. Nelson
St. Louis, Missouri

Why was it that Arthur Paul Boers's genuine attempt to convince us of the importance of this new discipline of prayer could only be made at the expense of criticizing—albeit mildly—the evangelical practice of devotions?

I understand that for many, choosing the daily office tradition helps to reestablish or even discover an enjoyable communion with God, so I can only rejoice.

If I read the Bible correctly, however, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with praying "prayers that are ad-hoc and self-directed, made up along the way, according to the mood, and not paying attention to the Christian year."

In fact, for Jesus and the early Christians, praying often was instantaneous or motivated by immediate circumstances.
Aurelian Botica
Cincinnati, Ohio

I read with interest and delight your cover story and sidebars on evangelicals' growing interest in the daily office and other related liturgical traditions.

I am a United Methodist pastor and small-church consultant who's always found the daily office ...

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